I'd twisted my ankle not once, but twice, and I could barely stagger over to the curb. If someone had seen me and pulled over to ask me if I was all right, this one time I would have said, "No, I'm not". Once the initial pain and shock subsided, I looked up the road to see whatever could have made me do that to myself.
And there it was. Laying all by itself on the side of the road. The biggest acorn I've ever laid eyes on. I pocketed it, brought it home, and measured it. It was 6.5" in diameter, and 3.5" from top to bottom.
Although the original culprit is not pictured, you can clearly see just how large these 'smaller' Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) acorns, or Mossycups, are. We have Bur Oak in Maine, but the size of the acorns they produce is normal acorn size.
"Bur Oak typically grows in the open, away from forest canopy. For this reason, it is an important tree on the eastern prairies, where it is often found near waterways in more forested areas, where there is a break in the canopy. It is also a fire-resistant tree, and possesses significant drought resistance by virtue of a long taproot. New trees may, after two to three years of growth, possess a 1–2 m deep taproot. The West Virginia state champion Bur Oak has a trunk diameter of almost 3 m (9 feet).
The acorns are the largest of any North American oak (thus the Latin species name macrocarpa--large fruit), and are an important wildlife food; American Black Bears sometimes tear off branches to get them. However, heavy nut crops are borne only every few years. In this strategy, known as masting, the large seed crop every few years overwhelms the ability of seed predators to eat the acorns, thus ensuring the survival of some seeds. Other wildlife, such as deer and porcupine, eat the leaves, twigs and bark. Cattle are heavy browsers in some areas. The bur oak is the only known foodplant of Bucculatrix recognita caterpillars." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_macrocarpa)
I'd be interested in knowing how large the acorns grow
in other parts of the country.
Does this support the myth that everything is bigger in Texas?